Each great artist seeks to capture in his works that ideal of a woman in which the best qualities of his people would be embodied. Pushkin’s ideal was the image of Tatyana Larina in the novel “Eugene Onegin”.
From the very first acquaintance with this heroine we see her originality, dissimilarity in others. As a child, she stands out from the usual provincial environment.
Dick, sad, silent,
Like a forest deer timid,
She was in her family native
She seemed a strange girl.
To enhance this impression, the author gives here a contrasting image of her sister Olga, all the charm of which was concentrated in “ringlets of linen”, “light camp,” “eyes like the sky of blue.” It is interesting that the eye of Onegin’s skeptic sees Olga quite different: “She is round, red face, like this stupid moon in this foolish horizon.” This characteristic immediately reveals its inner void, which
opposes the wealth of Tatyana’s inner world. Since childhood she has been shy of noisy children’s games, talking about “leading cities, about fashion.” What filled her life?
She loved on the balcony
Warn dawn sunrise,
When in the pale horizon of the
stars the dance disappears.
She liked romances early;
They replaced everything for her;
She fell in love with the deceptions of
Richardson and Rousseau.
Tatiana believed the traditions of the
And dreams, and card guesses,
And the predictions of the moon.
Hence, nature, books, village world with fairy tales of nannies, folk beliefs and customs make Tatyana’s favorite circle of life, form her personality.
At the beginning of the novel Tatyana is a “gentle dreamer”, immersed in the mysterious world of books with fictitious passions, a sincere and trustful girl who “knows no illusion and believes in a chosen dream.” She can not hide her feelings for Onegin, overwhelmed her, and writes him a gentle, touching, love-breathing
message, which even the cold egoist Onegin could not leave indifferent. But he suppressed the excitement, because he did not want to take advantage of the naivete and inexperience of the girl, nor bind himself to family ties.
Could the edifying, moralizing rebuke of Eugene kill Tatiana’s love for him? No. Pushkin says this directly:
What was the result of the rendezvous?
Alas, it is not difficult to guess!
Love mad sufferings
Have not ceased to worry
Mlada the soul, sadness greedy;
poorly passionless Tatiana poor burns.
Love for Onegin continues to live in Tatyana’s soul and after Lensky’s murder, and after his departure, and after she, disillusioned with him, calls him “Moskvich in Harold’s cloak,” and after his marriage. Tatiana loves him and at the end of the novel, when he meets Eugene again in his own magnificent living room. This depth and strength of feeling speak of the wholeness, the height, the spirituality of her nature. It is the uniqueness, the uniqueness of Tatiana that give her the opportunity to change decisively, to rapidly change. In the eighth chapter of the novel we see an amazing reincarnation of a “strange, provincial and cutesy” young lady (she is perceived by Moscow cousins) in “indifferent princess”, “careless legislator hall”. What is the author of the Petersburg Tatiana painting?
She was unhurried,
Not cold, not talkative,
Without a look of arrogance for all,
Without claims of success,
Without these little exasperations,
Everything was quiet, just there.
Pushkin’s characteristic of Tatyana says that even in a magnificent social life she managed to preserve her personality, dignity, naturalness, noble simplicity, which captivates her even stiff, arrogant nobility.
Careless charm of a sweet,
She sat at the table
With a brilliant Nina Voronsky,
This Cleopatra Neva.
“Careless charm” of Tatiana is a mask she wears with astonishing naturalness, for this is demanded by the harsh laws of light. Here the openness of feelings, the external manifestations of passions and experiences are inappropriate. Tatiana understands this perfectly with her smart and sensitive heart. Accepting the rules of the game, it becomes an example of “impeccable taste”, ennobling even an empty social conversation with its presence.
Before the hostess, an easy nonsense,
Glittering without a silly affectation,
And interrupting it meanwhile
Reasonable sense without vulgar topics.
At first, it may seem that Tatiana is satisfied with her luxurious life, her secular success. But a frank conversation with Onegin convinces us that this is not so. In the magnificent princess, the former Tatyana lives, she yearns for a nice village house, green oak forests, and free fields. She calls secular life “rags masquerade,” which she would gladly give “for a shelf of books, for a wild garden.” But Tatiana perfectly understands that her desire is unrealizable, for she herself bound herself by the promise given to her unloved husband. And to pay for this mistake, she must herself, faithfully fulfilling the role of a faithful wife and mistress of the house, suppressing feelings for her beloved.
In the last conversation with Yevgeny Tatyana does not humble herself to lies, she is still honest with him, but he can not accept his love, since she is not capable of betraying her husband who “was mutilated in the battles” and who surrounded her with attention and care. It is impossible not to admire the nobility of Tatiana, her courage and strength of spirit, which make her pronounce certain words:
I love you (why should I dissemble?),
But I am given to another;
I’ll be faithful to him for a century.
Why after this conversation does Eugene stand “as if thunderstruck”? Probably because only now he discovered the real Tatiana, first saw her moral strength, her spiritual beauty and then lost forever.
So, despite the spiritual evolution of Tatiana, she retained her individuality, her best qualities, but at the same time she forfeited forever the features of a naive girl who knows the world from books. Now she has acquired a real, critical view of life, which revealed to her the emptiness and purposelessness of secular Petersburg, taught her to own her feelings, gave her the power to love and hide her love and be faithful to her conjugal duty. This is what the great Russian writer FM Dostoevsky said remarkably, arguing over the motives of Tatyana’s act: “How can a man base his happiness on the misfortunes of another?” Happiness is not in the pleasures of love alone, but in harmony of spirit. ” It is this “harmony of the spirit” that makes up the essence of Tatiana’s character and makes Pushkin’s heroine “a sweet ideal”